Easy Mini Shepherd’s Pies Recipe

Make easy mini shepherds pies with no crust in individual dishes for a dinner party or weeknight meal. Use ground beef or lamb, frozen vegetables, and prepared mashed potatoes for this quick main dish casserole recipe also known as cottage pie.

3 individual white baking dishes filled with shepherd's pies sitting on white platter with green napkin.

Mini Shepherd’s Pies

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Individual mini shepherd’s pies are ideal for serving family or entertaining guests for St. Patrick’s day or an Irish themed dinner party.

This recipe is comfort food at its best, and it’s full of flavor. That makes it perfect to add to a fall or winter dinner party menu.

Make these in mini baking dishes for individual servings, or put the ingredients into a baking dish and cook for about 30 minutes.

What You’ll Love About This Recipe

Other than the delicious combination of ingredients and the ease of putting it together, here are some more reasons to make mini cottage pies.

  • Double the recipe to make enough for 6 or 8 people.
  • Make it in single servings or in a large casserole.
  • Use ground beef or lamb.
  • This recipe uses shortcuts to save time, like refrigerated prepared mashed potatoes and frozen vegetables.
  • You can assemble it ahead and bake it when ready.
Individual shepherds pie with scoop taken out, on large plate with spoon.
serve individual baking dishes
large white baking dish with cottage pie with a scoop taken out.
or bake in a casserole dish

What is Shepherd’s Pie?

Traditional shepherd’s pie gets its origins from the UK and Ireland, and is made with ground lamb or mutton. A topping of mashed potatoes is standard but the additional flavorings can vary from recipe to recipe. So to be precise these are actually “cottage pies” since they’re made with ground beef.

PARTY TIP: Serve individual shepherd’s pies in mini baking dished for a dinner party. It gives a restaurant vibe and adds that special twist.

Key Ingredients & Tips

  • Ground Meat. Ground lamb is used in the traditional Irish recipe, but we mostly use ground beef, which is technically a cottage pie.
  • Carrots and Peas. I use a bag of frozen carrots and peas mix, but you can buy them separately too. Make sure they are mostly thawed so they cook up tender in the dish. They will partially cook in the skillet with the meat, and again in the oven, but that’s not enough time for them to fully soften if used frozen.
  • Beefy Mushroom Soup. This is a great shortcut ingredient that adds flavor and saves time.
  • Mashed Potatoes. Here’s where you can save lots of time and effort! Use a container of refrigerated real mashed potatoes. I like the Bob Evans brand. They taste like homemade and you get about 2 1/2 cups worth.

How to Make It

  1. Thaw – Let the frozen vegetables thaw in the refrigerator over night, or in the microwave according to package directions.
  2. Brown – Cook the onions and ground meat in a skillet until it’s cooked through and no longer pink. You’ll add some salt to season the meat while it cooks because ground meat can be very bland otherwise.
  3. Combine – Add the remaining filling ingredients and cook together.
  4. Assemble – Divide the filling mixture into four baking dishes, then spread a layer of mashed potatoes on top. TIP: Use a large spoon to dollop potatoes on top and then gently spread the potatoes together. This way you don’t disturb the filling underneath.
  5. Bake – Bake in the oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes for individual servings.

EXPERT TIP: Add everything to a large casserole dish instead of mini sizes, and increase baking time to 30 minutes.

meat, peas and carrots mixture inside white oval baking dish on wood board, overhead.
add meat filling to baking dish
mashed potatoes in large white oval baking dish on wood board, overhead.
top with mashed potatoes


Can I make shepherd’s pies ahead?

You can prepare the fillings and layer everything in the baking dishes ahead of time. Just cover with aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator.
When ready, pull them out of the fridge and place them in a cold oven. THEN turn the oven on so the ceramic dish warms up with the oven. Otherwise, taking the cold dish to a hot oven can result in a broken dish!

Can I freeze this recipe?

You can freeze shepherd’s pie. Once assembled, wrap it tightly with a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil. It should keep well in the freezer for several months.
Thaw in the refrigerator before baking it.

Easy Dinner Party Menu

Make these for a themed dinner party for St. Patrick’s day, and include an Irish beer like Guinness to wash it down.

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three small white individual baking dishes filled with shepherds pies and topped with mashed potatoes, on white platter with green napkin.

Individual Mini Shepherd's Pies Recipe

Yield: 4 individual pies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These mini shepherd's pies are a quick and easy weeknight meal. They're especially great for St. Patrick's day dinner!



  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium size onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can Beefy Mushroom soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup frozen carrots, thawed


  • 4 cups prepared mashed potatoes


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add the oil to a large skillet over low-medium heat and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion starts to turn translucent and soften.
  3. Turn the heat to low and add the ground meat and salt, stirring often to make sure the meat is broken up and cooked all the way through. Drain excess fat.
  4. Add soup and cornstarch to beef and continue cooking on high until it reaches a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring; reduce to low until thickened.
  5. Add peas, carrots and Worcestershire sauce to meat mixture, and combine well.
  6. Divide the meat mixture evenly among four (6 to 8-ounce) baking ramekins or baking dishes. Top with mashed potatoes and smooth out the top.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


You can also place ingredients in a 2 quart casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.

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    1. Rebecca it should be readily available in the soup aisle. If not, do a quick google search and buy online.

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